Posted on | September 10, 2013 | 10 Comments
There’s this article going around about how we should never hurry our children. The writer did an excellent job explaining a situation with her daughter that enlightened her to decide to never say, “Hurry up” to her again. Immediately after it was published, mamas around the world felt the guilt pull on their heart strings. How often have we uttered those words to our children in a moment of impatience? Are we teaching them to rush through life and never stop to smell the flowers? Coupled with Pinterest quotes about how “Moms with sticky floors have happier kids,” and we’re suddenly feeling as though we are failing at life. I thought I was doing everyone a favor by scrubbing the mud off our living room hardwoods, but in fact, I was neglecting my children. Fail!
We are constantly bombarded by well-meaning posts and articles that tell us to take those extra moments and babies don’t keep and rock ‘em while you can. And they are true in almost every sense. But the one thing they leave out is the fact that, if we allow it, they make us feel guilty and wrong for scooting our babies along when it’s time to head out the door. They make us feel like we’ve wasted sweet moments of life by doing the laundry and dishes. We struggle with the guilt we feel when we’ve rocked a baby all day, and damnit, we really just want to put that baby down and take a nice, long, hot bath alone.
The truth is, I’m a mama who needs a clean house to have my sanity. When the house falls apart at the seams, so do I. I don’t spend my entire day cleaning, and I rarely attack my kitchen with a toothbrush to get the crevices, but I do clean daily. It doesn’t make me a better or worse mom because have a neat home is something I thrive on, it just makes me a mom who knows what works for my family and me. Providing a clean home, folded laundry, and home-cooked meals makes me happy. It’s a way I show my family I love them.
And sometimes? Sometimes I have to hurry my babies along. Because they are BABIES, and they have no sense of time. And if I don’t, we would spend the entire day sitting in the dirt as they find rocks. It’s all good and fun for awhile, but there are other things that have to be done. Like eating. And doctor’s appointments. And school. And the gym. And that’s okay. They don’t mind being hurried here and there, and I don’t mind lingering a few minutes longer on the playground or over a meal together.
Finding a middle road is necessary in all things in life, and parenting is no different. Just because we have become mothers doesn’t mean we have to give up our entire lives, every minute of our day, and our sanity to our children. They deserve us to be at our absolute best, and if that means taking an hour in the morning to straighten up the house while they have some independent play, or if that means tugging on a little hand and encouraging them to move a little more quickly so that you have time for all the things in life, then so be it. You can make up those moments by reading an extra book or two or by snuggling a little longer before bed.
If it makes you feel better to read little posts about not cleaning and rocking babies, good on you, mama! I mean that will all the sincerity in my heart. Because I don’t think you have to have spotless floors and all laundry put away to be a good mother. Just like I don’t think you have to stay-at-home or work or whatever you do to make your family work. If your babies are fed, cleaned, nurtured, and loved, you’re doing something right.